SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new facility, which will house interagency operations and staff tasked with monitoring and ensuring safety of bay commerce, has opened on the grounds of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco on Yerba Buena Island.

On any given day, between 350 and 400 vessels are transiting the waters west of the Golden Gate Bridge through the Delta and up to Sacramento. Their movements are now being monitored by the Coast Guard in a high-tech operations center.

“We are the busiest caseload-wise search and rescue sector in the Coast Guard,” said Jay Jewess, the Chief of Incident Management at U.S. Coast Guard District Eleven. “We prosecute over 1,200 search and rescue cases a year.”

Federal, state and local officials can now communicate better thanks to the operations center, considered a linchpin of homeland security.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was on hand for Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“What an important collection of people, when it comes to our security, our law enforcement, our commerce and our natural disaster response,” she said.

The center will allow for partners to improve situational awareness and operations monitoring in such events as a tsunami or oil spill.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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